Student Parents Make the Grade With Family-Friendly Study Hours
Between commuting, taking classes around work schedules and, of course, studying while caring for dependents, higher education for some non-traditional students offers additional challenges.
Fortunately, Kent State University’s Center for Adult and Veteran Services (CAVS) offers family-friendly study hours for student parents that offers a trained student volunteer to entertain and supervise children.
Study hours are offered most Tuesdays from 2-5 p.m. and Wednesdays 4-7 p.m. on the sixth floor of the library during the fall and spring semesters.
Morgan Chaney, a graduate student working on his dissertation briefing, has brought his son to study hours.
“I don’t have the greatest means when it comes to being able to pay for childcare,” Chaney said. “I could, but it would severely cut into my household budget. My wife and I switch off taking care of our son full time. Being able to come here and have him be entertained while we’re nearby is really helpful.”
Kim Beasley, a graduate student working at CAVS, volunteers for the program.
“This program is just good because it gives parents a chance to actually get work done,” Beasley said. “A lot of them have young children, and it's difficult to get work done when you have a child that needs constant supervision.”
While Beasley understands that the study hours may be outside some parents’ availability, she hopes that more will use the program.
“Since the beginning of this semester, there's been at least one parent in every session, and sometimes more so there would be anywhere between one and four kids here,” Beasley said. “It's something that more parents should take advantage of. It's hard to be a parenting student, so it's a good opportunity.”
And it works.
“I've been able to focus, and I can just look up and I can see that he's playing with some really energetic, enthusiastic 20-year-old student who's having a great time,” Chaney said.
Joshua Rider, executive director of CAVS, said that family friendly study hours are an important new service.
“It gives them a chance to concentrate on their studies while their children are occupied,” Rider said. “This is an outward expression that Kent State values these students, the sacrifices they’re making to pursue an education, and that we want them to feel noticed and that they belong here.”
To learn more about family-friendly student hours, visit www.kent.edu/cavs/studyhours.
To learn more about resources for parenting students, visit www.kent.edu/cavs/parenting-student-resources.
To learn more about the Center for Adult and Veteran Services, visit www.kent.edu/cavs.